Dare to wear men’s edition: crop-tops.
Back in the 80s, no man was scared of wearing cropped tees. A glimpse of abs under your super-short tee was brave and fashionable. It was the 70s culture: the pursuit of freedom, even in fashion. In the 90s, the iconic Prince of Bel Air wasn’t afraid of showing his belly, neither was the eternal Prince, the king of pop and R&B, who often dared to wear cropped tees. And yet, in the 00s, gender stereotypes in fashion defined the standard of what men and women are expected to wear.
Cropped tees disappeared from men’s closets and entered women’s. It became the norm. No one exhibited them on male’s runways for a long time.
Attempts were made to masculinize crop tops again but, without any critic’s backing and enough confidence they failed. In 2011 Calvin Klein tried to jump the gun with its Spring Summer Menswear collection but it didn’t work out. Cropped tees were still seen as a female-only piece of clothing.
More recently ASOS designed a crop top ‘for males’ but it caused a stir on social media and the male response was mainly over-dramatic.
But, surprisingly, masculine crop-tops aren’t going to just disappear. They’re coming back and this time the revolution is starting from the other side of the world. K-pop stars in South Korea are changing the game. Men idols started wearing cropped tees and the fans are loving it. SHINee’s Taemin was one of the first male idols, if not the first, to pull off the cropped look showing his tummy both on and off stage. EXO’s Kai and Monsta X’s Wonho both followed the path and, as time goes on, more male-idols are starting to recognize how fashionable and delighting crop-tops are rather than seeing them as something strictly feminine.